To My Monster: You Do Not Decide

By Kaytlin KillionOctober 19, 2017

Before I could name you, I thought I was nothing more than you.

The monsters I thought were living under my bed were nothing compared to you, the monster in my mind—a never satisfied monster named: Shame. No matter how fast I ran in the direction of self acceptance, you’d catch up and whisper, “You are innately wrong. There is nothing good about you. You don’t matter.”

You left me with a painful weight in my chest after each perceived mistake. You left me with paralyzing fear after laughing loudly or talking a bit too much. You left me with my hands shaking each time I was corrected no matter how gently. You left me to spend hours locked in my dark closet letting my tears soak the carpeted floor.

Soon, you got smarter. You became meaner than my bullies. You began to dictate the narrative I accepted as truth.

“You don’t fit in.”

“You’re not pretty enough.”

“You’re stupid.”

“Everyone hates you.”

“No one would miss you if you were gone.”

You left me with one leg nervously bouncing at the lunch table. You left me with swollen eyes and mascara-stained pillow cases. You left me with secrets and red etchings on my skin. But you never left.

High school began and with it came trauma, heartbreak, and a desperate need to seem like I had it all together—even though my inner world felt like it was collapsing all around me. You were waiting. Your whispers turned to screams.

“You’re messed up beyond repair.”

“No one will ever want you.”

“You don’t belong anywhere.”

“Your parents’ separation is your fault.”

“You are worthless.”

“Your life has no purpose so end it.”

You left me with prayers to not wake up, and well formulated but failed plans. You left my mental list of dreams crossed out one by one in seemingly permanent marker. You left me looking for love and affirmation from anyone but myself, no matter how they treated me. You left my head spinning with anger and depression and anxiety for weeks, thinking I would never amount to anything.

I almost let you consume me. I almost let you drag me away. I almost let the shackles you had placed around my soul define me. I almost let you win.

But to my monster: You do not decide.

You do not decide my worth.

You do not decide my hopes.

You do not decide if I live.

You do not decide me.

You are an emotion. You are not my good days, and I am not my bad days. You are not my existence.

I am more than my pain and my monsters. I am more than a number on a scale, my struggles with vulnerability, and the mistakes I’ve made. I am more than a diagnosis, my fears, and my insecurities. My story doesn’t only contain the dark chapters and the nights I have survived. My thoughts, feelings, ideas, choices, and triumphs all deserve a seat at the table, too. I am worthy of another morning, another soft pretzel, another journal entry, and another day to search for the good in myself.

I’ll remember your name and your lies so I can discern your voice from my own. I will have hard conversations with counselors and friends who will fight alongside me. I’ll amplify my screams into the darkness until they silence yours. I will remind myself that I am a story worth writing. A pen to a piece of paper until the light comes rushing in like a sunrise and I finally believe it.

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Comments (25)

  1. Marianne Meany

    And this is where I say THANK YOU to the group 21 Pilots who so courageously sing about all of this and literally saved my daughters life! Their music along with TWLOHA is a lifeline !!

    Reply  |  
  2. Toni Brown

    Thank you for this. So much.

    Reply  |  
  3. Mandy

    This is so powerful and beautifully said. Thank you for being a Light.

    Reply  |  
  4. Carma Barksdale

    Kaitlyn Noel this is an absolutely amazing story and beautiful writing and if you were ever going through these things I never knew. It hurts my heart to know that you were struggling because you were and are such an amazing and inspiring young woman. I have loved you since I met you and I am always here if you need me. You are a light to so many, never let anyone or anything put out your flame.

    Reply  |  
  5. Gail

    I’m sorry for your struggle that left you almost broken. I rejoice that you have found your voice and know that Satan wins many battles but The Lord has won the war. You belong to the Lord and He loves you just as He made you. You are so loved by me and all who know you.

    Reply  |  
  6. Kate

    This is amazing. So brave and I could relate to every word. Thank you for sharing this. Came here because I needed some comfort. I needed some hope. Got them. If only for tonight.

    Reply  |  
  7. Victoria

    Beautiful so so beautiful thank you❤❤❤

    Reply  |  
  8. Mariana Tibúrcio

    Holy shit! This is amazing! Thanks for this words, I really need, because unfortunately, I let the monster inside me win all the time. I have to believe in myself more, but I was believed that I’m not worth, because it is what people always say to me.

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA


      We are here to tell you that you are worth so much good. No matter what you’ve been told or what you believe, you are enough and you are worthy of love and respect and peace.

      Would you email us at [email protected]? We would love to know more about you and send you some support.

      With Hope,

      Reply  |  
  9. Leslie montes

    This really good but i need to talk to someone to help me stop my self harm

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      Hi Leslie!

      You can absolutely reach out for help. We’re so glad you commented and are doing just that. Here are some options available to you:

      -Our Find Help page is a good place to find professional help in your area:

      -For immediate assistance, you can text TWLOHA to 741741 via Crisis Text Line at any time (it’s available 24/7, 7 days a week). It is free of charge, and you will be connected with a trained counselor.

      -Email us at [email protected] so we can provide you with some support and possibly know more of your story, if you would like to share.

      You don’t have to live this way, and you never have to go through it alone.

      With Hope,

      Reply  |  
  10. Nicole

    Thank you for writing this. I’m battling this monster. This post gives me hope.

    Reply  |  
  11. Tammy Machulis

    Absolutely the best thing I have read in along time. Thank you, I needed this message 🙂

    Reply  |  
  12. Ally

    I needed this today and every day for ten years and more. Thank you, for writing. Thank you for staying. THank you for fighting.

    Reply  |  
  13. alex

    if I have another life, i will be better

    Reply  |  
  14. Tricia

    Just wow, lifesaving words. Thank you

    Reply  |  
  15. Tricia

    Just wow, thank you for these lifesaving words

    Reply  |  
  16. Annie T

    This is beautiful and inspiring. Your words have helped me reframe a night of dark thoughts to see that I was actually fighting and winning. I was finally amplifying my screams, and that means I’m actually starting to believe I’m a story worth writing. Thank you for sharing <3

    Reply  |  
  17. Shay Smith

    I love this so much. Beautiful words, and definitely something I needed today!

    Reply  |  
  18. Gnula

    Muy buena esta pagina se la recomiendo por su buen contenido

    Reply  |  
  19. Nina

    Beautiful! Thank you for putting into words what I could not.

    Reply  |  
  20. Rachel

    This blog is truly amazing, I wish I was as strong as you. How did you decide to stop listening to the voice in your head?

    Reply  |  
    1. Kaytlin

      Hey Rachel,

      I haven’t stopped listening to it. I win against the voice in my head some days, I lose against it most days. Counseling helps on the days I feel myself slipping. I’ve tried to build a support system I can lean on during those harder moments. Truly, I feel that some days my shame wins the battle, but I’m hopeful that overall I’m winning the war. You are stronger than you know. You’re not alone.

      Reply  |  
  21. Lee

    Music is a powerful tool if used correctly that shit can be healing, that shit can be devastating though too, I like what Einstein said, “Music is the solace of my soul” I like to think I can say it better yet and say I choose to find peace in my music selections

    Reply  |  
  22. Craig

    This was a good article Kaitlyn and I hope to use it to help my wonderful teenage daughter who I love so much who has her own monster at the moment fueling her self doubt about who see she is and what she can be.

    Reply  |  
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